Updated: Oct 16, 2022
If you ever want to stop a social conversation, just ask the question, “What is the
purpose of life?”. A deep question like that tends to cause people to freeze in their tracks or back away. For most people it sounds like a question that should only be asked in a philosophy class. But if we rephrase the question by adding the word 'my' in front of the word 'life', it maybe easier to relate to.
So now the question is, what is the purpose of my life?
For some, this may be a question that is left unanswered most of their life for a myriad of reasons. But it is important to know the answer to this question. And you're probably asking, 'but why'?
What's the purpose of finding your purpose? Well, it......
gives meaning to your life
provides a road map for your journey
deepens overall satisfaction
Do YOU know your gift, your purpose?
We all have some type of gift so we all have a purpose. Sometimes we find our gift/purpose early on in our life, sometimes late in life and sometimes we coast along our whole life without knowing or acknowledging what our true purpose really is.
When determining our purpose in life we tend to think small. We focus on what we do as an occupation, our talents or one of the many different hats we wear, like artist, mother, athlete, coach, son, chauffeur, etc. In order to figure out our purpose we should look at a variety of things including our beliefs, core values, likes, dislikes as well as our gifts/talents. And sometimes we should even take into consideration what other people think. Yes, I know what you're probably thinking right now. Why would you open that dangerous door? But it does help to see other peoples perspective. Sometimes they can see us clearer than we do. Why is that? Because we have an ego. Our ego will either overestimate our talents or downplay them. The latter is the most common.
The meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose is to give it away.
Finding my purpose took many decades and a lot of self-reflection. I was definitely in the slow-lane when it came to realizing my purpose. But I’m glad I had the ah-ha moment even though I was in my 50's. I remember that moment clearly. I was teaching a class on this same topic in a small women’s group and realized I had my purpose all along. My purpose was to teach and to inspire. I just hadn’t put two and two together yet, until then.
So here are some pitfalls to avoid when determining your purpose.
Not taking the time (and not being honest with yourself)
Self-reflection is key to figuring out what your gift and purpose is. Yes, self-reflection is what my girls call fluff and stuff but hey, if it works don’t knock it.
Spending the time to reflect on your gifts/purpose is not hogwash. It is a gift you are giving yourself for life long direction, purpose and happiness. And if you're taking the time to determine your purpose, make it count by being HONEST with yourself. Is it really your purpose or someone else's? Sometimes we get so focused on trying to live someone else's dream, we have forgotten who we really are and what we really desire. Does our purpose bring us joy? Is it a gift you can authentically share and will share?
Being too specific
Sometimes we are too specific with our purpose. We don't think in broader terms. Just because we are really good at something doesn't mean that's our purpose. Think outside the box. Look at all areas of your life including beliefs, values, likes and dislikes.
I am a good example of thinking too small. For a long time, I thought my purpose was sharing yoga and meditation with the world. But if you look closely at those two along with my other passions you will find a common theme, which is to teach and inspire people to be better, to learn and grow. That is my purpose.
Are you intrigued? Would you like to work on identifying your purpose? Download this FREE Find Your Purpose worksheet to help step you through the process. It's my gift to you.
So spend some time working through your purpose. According to Mark Twain it is one of the two most important days of your life.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why ~ Mark Twain